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Picture of the Month - July 2011

For July's Picture of the Month, we're looking at an image from the RSC's 1984 production of 'Love's Labour's Lost'.

Helen Hargest
Love's Labor's Lost 1984
Berowne using the statue to hide himself when overhearing his friends breaking their oaths to forswear the company of women in exchange for solitude and philosophy.

For July's Picture of the Month, I have selected an image from the RSC's 1984 production of Love's Labour's Lost. Shakespeare was famous for his verbal wit, and Dr Samuel Johnson described the play as one of the most Shakespearean of Shakespeare's plays, because of it's linguistic sophistication. Directed by Barry Kyle and set in the 19th century,  the design of this production reflected the idea of romantic love and conjured up images of French Impressionist paintings. A statue of Eros, the Greek god of love dominated the set, helping to  establish the importance of the comedy of deception and overhearing in the play.  Here we see Berowne using the statue to hide himself when overhearing his friends breaking their oaths to forswear the company of women in exchange for solitude and philosophy. One by one they read out their competitive poems and sonnets, as he himself had done a few minutes earlier. This image captures very well the  "marvellous comic talent of voice and gesture"  Roger Rees bought to the role of Berowne;  the wittiest character in the play.